Monday, July 18, 2011

Roots of The Red Scorpion

We're in the final stages of getting my Young Adult haunted house novel published. The original story concept was conceived more than 25 years ago in a dream. It is an action sequence which appears late in the novel, something akin to the final battle that you see in so many Hollywood films where the hero and his arch enemy are squared off in a fight to the death. In my dream, naturally, I won by waking up. In the novel, our teen hero has to overcome.

I woke from that dream and typed out several pages of description, then deposited it into one of my "idea" folders. This was back when everything was on paper, before the days of computers and virtual folders on your desktop.

Over the years as I sifted through these folders for my next story, The Red Scorpion eventually emerged as a project to undertake. My motivation for writing it was this. I was hoping to get it published while my son was in high school. I wanted to have it be the book his English class was reading so that kids on the school bus were all carrying it. This was the picture I envisioned and it helped motivate me to press on. Writing book length stories is no easy task when you are also working full time as well as being father, husband, soccer coach and Mr. Fix-it.

The story has three sections. I wrote the second section first, the story of how Dr. Comstock, an anthropology professor, came to discover the red scorpion. Did I mention that there's a supernatural element in the story? These red scorpions are the embodiment of evil. Eventually, bad things happen, but Comstock had been documenting it all in a journal. A generation later some teenage boys break into this abandoned bed and breakfast, and one of them finds Dr. Comstock's journal. This was originally the first part of the book.

For some reason, as I wrote and re-wrote the story, the amount of work involved to "get it right" was taxing. Add to that the fact that my son was graduating high school and I couldn't find a publisher, well, I abandoned the project for a time. In 2005 it appeared that I was going to take it up again, but once more I set it aside.

But The Red Scorpion refuses to die. In less than two months the 53,400 word manuscript will become an eBook, available on Kindles and Nooks. A haunted house story with a supernatural twist. My publisher is a high school student who understands the technology of this new frontier in publishing. We're both enthusiastic about the prospects for this venture.

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In the meantime, have a great week.

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